Greek regional airline Aegean Airways has surfaced as one of six bidders for the country’s ailing flag carrier, Olympic Airways. Aegean will compete for the rights to the airline with Olympic Investors; New Wings, led by Greek businessman Pavlos Vardinoyiannis; Golden Aviation, led by Greek shipping tycoon Spiros Restis; Chrysler Aviation; and Wexford Group, owner of U.S.-based Chautauqua Airlines.
The Greek government has conditionally accepted Axon Airlines’ bid to purchase a controlling stake in Olympic Airways, the country’s flag carrier. Details of the buyout likely will not surface for up to three months, while talks take place between Axon and the Greek government on such matters as the controversial planned downsizing among the company’s 6,000 employees.
Aegean Airlines chief operating officer Antonis Simigdalas has to rummage among framed certificates stacked by his desk to find the Greek regional’s independent air-carrier licence (ACL), the first issued in Greece. A man in a hurry, the airline executive has had no time to mount the document on his Athens office wall.
Aegean Airlines, host carrier at this month’s European Regions Airline Association (ERA) general assembly in Athens, has an eye on opportunities in Eastern European and Middle East markets, according to Aegean COO Antonis Simigdalas, who is also president of ERA. He told AIN that the airline is “geared for such developments, through its fleet plans, traffic-rights applications and economic stability and planning.”